Acer circinatum

Vine Maple, Acer circinatum, is a very important plant for our pollinators. Its late bloom and rich flowers attract honey bees, mason bees, and bumble bees. If you have hives nearby, the nectar is especially sweet and makes for delicious honey. A. circinatum is also a host plant for the gorgeous Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Vine maple is an iconic understory shrub in the Pacific Northwest that can serve as an excellent contribution to your native garden. Not only can it grow in the shade as a multi-stemmed shrub with long arching vines, but it can also grow in the sun like a small tree with up-reaching branches. Its versatility is almost as amazing as its elegant flowers and brilliant leaves. The fuschia-like flowers are white with a wine colored skirt and grow in elegantly drooping clusters. The leaves are bright green in the summer and turn vividly red and yellow in the fall. As well as being a showy addition to your garden and a food source for pollinators, A. circinatum is a hardy plant that is generally pest and disease free, so it’s easy to take care of!

vine maple
vine maple in containers

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Native Nursery

vine maple fall color

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Native Nursery

vine maple leaves

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Native Nursery

vine maple double samara

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Native Nursery

  • vine maple
  • vine maple in containers
  • vine maple fall color
  • vine maple leaves
  • vine maple double samara

Plant Details

Riparian Forests
Bottomland Forests
Bottomland Forest; Riparian Forest; Forest understory plant; Deer resistant
Mature Height:
Shade Preference:
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade,
Soil Tolerance:
Moist soils
Special Uses:
Attracts insects, bees and butterflies; Attracts birds; Attracts hummingbirds
Arboretum Locations:
Cheldelin Middle School Arboretum
Corvallis Waldorf School Native Arboretum
Crescent Valley High School Arboretum
Year(s) Planted:
2011, 2012, 2010